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News-Times staffers take home state awards

The Whidbey News-Times staff had another successful year at the annual Washington Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

The awards were announced Oct. 1 at the 123rd annual WNPA Convention. Whidbey News-Times staff members in editorial, advertising and art departments took home 13 awards.

After a staff member secretly entered the contest for him, Editor Jim Larsen won first place for best humorous column.

"Pithy, ironic and worthy of the odd belly laugh. Too bad the column is always buried at the bottom of the page, rather than played near the top," the judges wrote.

Assistant Editor Jessie Stensland won five awards this year. She received first place in the best government reporting category for the story "Judges, lawyers battle over the budget."

"Very good reporting on an issue of importance to the legal system and taxpayers," the judges wrote.

Stensland won second and third place for "best crime and courts" category for the stories "Deputy saves life before losing his job" and "Sen. Haugen's husband faces sexual assault claim."

She also won third place in the investigative reporting category for the story "Police renew search; Mother holds out hope." She won another third place award in the best personality profile category for "Nellie gained fame as paper's proofreader."

Reporter Liz Burlingame won third place in the "best feature story, short" category for "Never been kissed." She also placed third in best health and medical story for "Family battles boy's peanut reaction."

Reporter Jenny Manning won third place for the best environmental story, "Salmon benefit as saltwater reclaims old Dutch farmland."

In the advertising awards, marketing representative Sarah Felger and artist Teresa Besaw got a second place for the best single "convey an image" ad for "LaModa Rocks."

Felger and Besaw and took third in the best promotion of a newspaper for their "advertising works" ad.

Felger, Besaw, marketing representative Robyn Bainbridge and artist Michelle Wolfensparger won second place for the best use of one spot color for "Countdown to Christmas."

Bainbridge, Besaw, Wolfensparger and Advertising Manager Terri Tinker won third place in best multiple-advertiser ad for "Whidbey Women in Business."

The Whidbey News-Times competes with daily and weekly newspaper in the third of four circulation groups. This year, 80 newspapers made 2,800 entries.

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